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August 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Tuesday’s pregame notes and lineups: Braves at Mariners

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Update: 3:47 p.m.

Lloyd McClendon was asked why he shifted his rotation and pushed back Chris Young and Felix Hernandez for a day.

“Same as always,” McClendon said. “I told you guys, any chance I get to give him an extra day I’m going to do it. I think we’ve done ok. Last time I checked we had the best pitching in the American League, why not keep doing it? Why not keep resting them.”

It didn’t have anything to do with playing the Blue Jays – a team they’re battling with for the second wild card.

“It had nothing to do with Toronto,” McClendon said with a grin.

It might have a little something to do with Toronto. I think McClendon is being careful to make too big of a deal about it, particularly after the mild hornets nest that kicked up when he did it last time. But look at it this way, everyone in the rotation, but Hisashi Iwakuma gets an extra day of rest and if it happens that their best three pitchers are going against the Blue Jays – bonus.

So who will start on Sunday?

“Don’t know yet,” McClendon said. “I have options but I don’t know yet.”

It comes down to three viable options …

  1. Taijuan Walker — Yes, Walker struggled last night in Albuquerque and McClendon admitted that he didn’t like the numbers he saw – eight runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings pitched on 68 pitches. But he said that won’t factor into his decision for Sunday.  “If he was going to be the guy we’d bring up, that would have nothing to do with it.
  2. Erasmo Ramirez — McClendon said he’s a definite possibility. “Erasmo’s throwing fairly well. He threw well when he was here. I’d say he’s definitely in the mix with Walker. Ramirez started on Saturday and isn’t scheduled to throw on his normal work day on Thursday (below). But that could change.
  3. Bullpen start — The Mariners are carrying eight relievers right now.  So that could help McClendon massage his way through a bullpen start. How the Mariners’ starting pitching handles the next few games will factor into that possibility.

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Michael Saunders (strained oblique) will participate in a full workout pregame today. If all goes well, McClendon said the hope would be to send him out on rehab assignment – likely with Tacoma – on Thursday.

From earlier … 

An expected lineup for the Mariners coming off the off-day and facing lefty Alex Wood.

Don’t know much about Wood? Me either.

He was a second round pick in the 2012 draft out of the University of Georgia. He made 31 appearances last season and started 11 games, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.13 ERA.

This season, he’s made 25 appearances, including 14 starts.  He’s got a 7-8 record with a  3.30 ERA. He’s struck out 102 batters and walked 26  in 103 2/3 innings pitched.

He’ s got a rather funky delivery as you can see in this video. And here’s a breakdown with GIFs from Fangraphs.

Here’s his career splits …

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A handful of Mariners players have faced Wood a few times.

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Official game notes …..08.05.14 Game Notes

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